The short answer is: yes. You can use 4 ohm and 8 ohm speakers together. However, it is a difficult task to execute correctly. Let’s get into the specifics of how to use the speakers simultaneously without destroying your car sound system.
What Are 4 Ohm and 8 Ohm Speakers?
Ohm refers to the impedance in your speaker system. Impedance is the amount of electric current flowing through your system when a particular voltage occurs.
Speakers can go from 1 to 16 impedance, but 4 ohms, 6 ohms, and 8 ohms are the most common.
Differences and Similarities: 4 Ohm vs. 8 Ohm Speakers
In short, 4 ohm and 8 ohm refers to the impedance rating. Low impedance means that the sound system or speaker can handle more power. So, 4-ohm speakers can withstand more power than an 8 ohm speaker.
The main difference between the two speakers is that the 4-ohm speaker will produce more power than the 8 ohm speaker.
Both 4 ohm and 8 ohm speakers have good sound quality, but most agree that 4 ohm speakers have better sound quality.
The type of amplifier you have and the design of the stereo are important in sound quality. With this in mind, a 4 ohm speaker may not sound as great as you would expect if you do not have a quality amplifier and stereo design.
Connect Your Speakers
As we have already established, you can mix 4 ohm speakers and 8 ohm speakers. Now we will cover how to achieve this with good sound quality.
A series connection is best for combining the two types of speakers. Before attempting to make a series connection, you should understand the difference between a ground wire and a hot wire.
Connecting two hot wires will give you a parallel connection which is not what you want when mixing 4 ohm and 8 ohm speakers.
You create a series connection when you connect ground wires to hot wires. Here is an example of how to make a series connection.
First, connect the positive terminal of speaker A to the positive terminal of the amplifier.
Then, you connect the negative terminal of speaker A to the positive terminal of speaker B. Finally, the negative terminal of speaker B should connect to the negative terminal of the amplifier.
Following these steps to complete a successful series connection is vital to connect two different types of speakers.
When connecting the two types, the main thing to remember is to be sure there is no parallel connection between the speakers.
Using a parallel connection will make this connection far more difficult.
Things to Remember
Be sure to buy an amplifier that has a large power rating. When you combine 4 ohms and 8 ohm speakers, the impedance will change.
Amplifier watts range from 20 to 200 watts, so plan accordingly for your project.
It is beneficial to do a few basic calculations for how many ohms you will be connecting. This ensures that the total amount is within the amount your amplifier can handle.
For instance, if you are mixing two 4 ohm speakers with two 8 ohm speakers, the basic calculations would be as follows:
- System A: 4 ohm + 4 ohm = 8 ohm
- System B: 8 ohm + 8 ohm = 16 ohm
Next, multiply system A by system B. In this case, that is 8 ohms multiplied by 16 ohms. This gives us 128 ohms.
Then, you divide this number by the total number of ohms in the system. In this example, that is 12 ohms. We get this because we are using a 4 ohm set and an 8 ohm set.
In this example, this calculation gives us 5.33 ohms which is a good range for the project. Thus we can continue to connect them safely.
Mixing speaker types can be a difficult task if done incorrectly. You risk damaging your sound system or creating poor sound quality if you do not create a series connection.
As long as the speaker is plugged into the correct output, you should have no issue using a series connection to mix 4 ohm and 8 ohm speakers in your car.
Keep in mind that while mixing 4 ohms and 8 ohm speakers is possible, it is not the best idea since it is difficult to do correctly. The risk of blowing out your speakers is high. That will just create more headaches for you later.